'Bloody Chinese' cartoon by Rolf Heimann, Overland 193, 2008


This is a cartoon by Rolf Heimann which shows an Indigenous Australian sifting through a garbage bin. A caucasian man and woman are are seated on a nearby park bench. The man, reading a newspaper with the heading 'Tibet' on the front page says, 'Bloody Chinese ... deliberately displacing an entire culture! What sort of people are they?'

Educational value

Australia's success in avoiding a recession in 2008 was partly the result of strong economic growth in China. This emphasised the importance of Australia's relationship with China for its future economic prosperity. The detention of Australian Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu by Chinese authorities revealed a darker side to this relationship. Cartoonists were quick to highlight the complexities of living with our northern neighbour.

Political cartoons have a long history in Australia, and remain one of the most popular forms of political commentary. Though caricatures and satirical illustrations appeared in some of Australia's earliest newspapers, it was not until the 1830s that they became a frequent and respectable feature of the print media. Publications such as the Melbourne Punch, the Sydney Punch, the Bulletin featured both caricatures and cartoons, and it was through these publications that political cartoons became a popular element of the Australian press.

Rolf Heimann is a freelance cartoonist based in Melbourne.

© Education Services Australia Limited and the National Museum of Australia 2009 onwards (except where otherwise indicated).

You may view, display, print out and copy this material for non-commercial educational purposes provided you retain all acknowledgements associated with the material.